Will the long-awaited Beverley Road revamp ever happen?
By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 2 Aug 2017
Work on a £2.7m facelift scheme to improve historic buildings on Hull's Beverley Road has got off to a slower than expected start.
Backed by the city council and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the initiative aims to repair properties along the route as well as restoring many original boundary walls and railings.
Under the scheme, grants are being offered to property owners to part-fund repairs and renovation.
It was launched in May last year with the hope initial work could start within a few months.
But over a year later a new council report has revealed most of the project's budget has yet to be spent.
It says plans to refurbish part of a Victorian parade of shops and flats known as Brunswick Arcade require additional staffing to get the scheme off the ground.
And the report says approving grants "is proving slower than anyone anticpated."
Earlier this year a colourful new hoarding featuring a striking red-brick facade complete with a restored set of widows was placed around scaffolding holding up the central section of Brunswick Parade.
It raised hopes of an early start on the privately-owned building after fears over its structural safety led the council to take the unusual step of buying the scaffolding holding it up.
The scaffolding was originally hired by the council and installed in 2014 amid concerns that part of the three-storey building could collapse.
Brunswick Arcade in Beverley Road before new hoarding was installed earlier this year
The scaffolding, which had become an eyesore, also blocks part of the main bus lane heading towards the city centre.
On Brunswick Arcade, the report says: "Progress has been slow due to the condition of the building and the impact of any works on Beverley Road.
"A design team is being set up in line with HLF requirements but the technical expertise required is proving difficult to bring together."
The grant scheme is described as "complicated" by the need to get property owners to sign up to allow funding to be released.
"This is proving to be slower than anyone anticipated but this is a five-year programme," says the report.
As well as Brunswick Arcade, an initial list of high-priority properties due to be tackled first include the disused Trafalgar Street church and two pubs, the Station and the Bull Inn.
In a statement, the council said a decision notice had been published this week to start the process of appointing a design services consultant to help oversee the re-development works at Brunswick Arcade.
"The specialists will provide advice, technical input and support, including design requirements and scheme management throughout the pre-tender of works and throughout the delivery of key phases of the work.
"Work will include the demolition of some of the parts of the building beyond repair, reconstruction and replacement works and the incorporation of the required mix of three retail and five residential units and an in-keeping front facade."
The council said some public realm works have started on site, including the installation of heritage lighting at the former Stepney railway station, tree planting and the removal of unnecessary street signs.
Improvement works to forecourts along the road and further tree planting are also planned for early next year.
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